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OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Training Program - Toronto (August 2019)

August 12th - August 16th, 2019
Event Price: $1,000.00
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Please note that this training requires 10 people to run.

OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ Program involves five full days face-to-face in the classroom with two trainers. There are many individual exercises, group exercises and role plays in class time, and daily written reflections assigned as homework. Prior to classroom training, a required 1.5 hour “Expectations” webinar is delivered by OPDI staff. Program managers or supervisors contemplating sending individuals into training are also encouraged to attend this one, as well as potential participants. Then, some basic content and concepts are introduced in a second, 2 hour mandatory webinar called “Beginnings”, which is strictly for participants only.  Homework (information gathering) is assigned to be brought for use in class. It should be noted that taking this training does not guarantee everyone an automatic “pass”. Participants are evaluated by the trainers, and the outcomes can range from “Incomplete” to “Level 1”, “Level 1R” and eventually earning “OPDI Certified Peer Supporter”.

Level 1 means the person attended and participated fully in the training, and is deemed at this point appropriate to deliver an informal friendship style of peer support within supervised settings that would correspond with the first three categories in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Continuum of Peer Support, up to and including a C/SI or PSO. Level 1R means that the trainers are of the opinion the participant may be ready to work in a more formalized setting, and are Recommending that they proceed to an internship or practicum in which they deliver 50 hours of person to person support which is monitored and evaluated. It is not mandatory to do the practicum, but it is necessary for those who wish to earn the OPDI Certified Peer Supporter certificate.

  • materials (binder, 9 participant workbook modules totalling 175 pages, electronic storage device of other resource materials)materials (binder, 9 participant workbook modules totalling 175 pages, electronic storage device of other resource materials)
  • two trainers, alternating presentation/ feedback/ support duties
  • Introduction/orientation module via webinar(s) delivered by OPDI staff (attendance mandatory)
  • 5 days of face to face training
  • Lunch and two breaks daily during face to face training.
  • A signed document stating your achievement, mailed to your home address
    • Level 1 (has completed classroom) or 1R (ready for informal peer support in supervised setting)
  • Post training support to meet conditions should trainers set any for elevating result from 1 to 1R
  • Standing invitation to webinar on internship requirements/process (for interested 1Rs)
  • OPDI staff support of your internship consisting of
    • approval of internship plan or suggestions to strengthen it
    • monitoring of your reports and evaluations filed at five intervals, and feedback
    • troubleshooting help
    • Signed document “OPDI certified peer supporter” mailed upon successful completion of internship
  • “Graduates” are listed on OPDI’s database for this and any other OPDI trainings completed
    • potential employers can check your credentials (only with your written permission)
    • invitations & news about other opportunities around peer support

Does Not Include participant travel or accommodation, breakfasts, dinners. 

No-shows cannot be refunded.  

Participant Expectations

  • Attend mandatory Beginnings webinar prior to classroom training.
  • Attend an optional Training Expectations webinar or reviewing the slide  presentation on your own. Upcoming Training Expectation webinar dates can be found in the NewsToGo or by emailing
  • Attend each of the five days of classroom training.
  • Actively participate in the classroom training.
  • Complete all homework assignments on time.
  • Attend all post classroom training webinars.
  • Attend Internship webinar (to be offered frequently) prior to starting an internship
  • Negotiate an internship and submit an internship plan for approval (if certificate is desired).
  • Complete & submit documentation on all the internship requirements (if certificate is desired).

Mandatory Beginnings Webinar:  August 7th from 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Optional Training Expectations:  July 15th from 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Allyson Theodorou ( Phone: 416.484.8785 ext. 2 or 1.866.681.6661


Contact Information

Organizational Affiliation (current and past)

General Information

Please check any other peer support training you have successfully completed:
I have a food allergy, sensitivity or restriction, and require


This training does not attempt to be all things to all people. Some peer support roles require specialized skills that are not required in most other settings. Other topics that might be important in many settings require more intensive training beyond basics. For these reasons, this training focuses on the core skills, while introducing such topics and pointing toward other learning resources. Diagnostic and pharmaceutical information is readily available, constantly changing, and of limited relevance within peer support relationships, therefore are not included in this training.

This training involves written individual and group exercises, role-playing scenarios in dyads and triads, and a written ‘reflection’ piece for each module. Basic literacy skills are required, but the writing is by no means expected to be on an ‘academic’ level. OPDI and our trainers will make every effort to accommodate for literacy and other challenges provided we are alerted to the need well in advance.

OPDI will seek funding and partnership opportunities to develop additional modules and continuing education pieces for specific skills or settings. One such extra module, created in partnership with CMHA Ontario and others, is around diabetes competencies for peer supporters to understand and support peers around diabetes prevention and self management. We welcome suggestions and feedback around what topics you feel would be priorities. If you are accepted and complete training, please be sure to complete our confidential feedback survey which will help identify strengths and areas of improvement for the program and of our trainers.

All training materials are copyright of OPDI and trademarks are pending. Taking the Core Skills training does not qualify or permit participants to train others. Trainers of OPDI’s program are specially authorized to use it. Unauthorized use, copying, distribution or dissemination of OPDI materials is prohibited.